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Corman's World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel


Stars: Featuring: Roger Corman, Julie Corman, Gene Corman, Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Joe Dante, John Sayles, Jonathan Demme, Eli Roth, Peter Fonda, Peter Bogdanovich, William Shatner, Brett Ratner, Paul W S Anderson, David Carradine, Pam Grier, Traci Lords, Clint Howard, Irvin Kirshner, Sally Kirkland, Mary Woronov, Dick Miller, Nancy Sinatra, Lloyd Kaufman, Penelope Spheeris, Jim Wynorski, Richard Matheson, Paul Bartel, Jonathan Haze, Polly Platt, Alab Arkush, George Hickenlooper, Gale Ann Hurd

Director: Alax Stapleton

While I know I should have been studying medicine instead of going to the movies at Cambridge, I was unable to resist a wonderful new world where double features meant two films for the price of one. Fortunately, I never became a doctor, thus no doubt saving dozens of lives.

It was there I became hooked on the unique oeuvre that was Corman’s at the height of his time as King of the Bs, wallowing in the pleasure of seeing such exploitation classics as Attack of the Crab Monsters, It Conquered the World and Wasp Woman. Later I savoured his Edgar Allen Poe classics like The Pit and the Pendulum and The Masque of the Red Death and finally transformed my cinematic addiction into the book “The Films of Roger Corman’.

Corman finally- and rightly - became ‘respectable’ for a career that has spanned some 50 films as director and 300 or so as producer, along with catalysing the careers of such actors as Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro and now distinguished moviemakers like Jonathan Demme, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Peter Bogdanovich, Joe Dante and Curtis Hanson.

Stapleton’s fascinating documentary rightly lauds Corman in a series of excellent interviews (Nicholson ends up choking back tears after talking about Corman) and terrific clips to showcase a career that found Corman still working on the film Dinoshark for the Syfy Channel at the age of 85 and, even more importantly, receiving a well-deserved honorary Oscar at 83. Demme, who presented Corman with the statuette, called Corman “A great American director of movies”.

“The Academy Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to an individual for extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy” stated the Oscar citation.

“Corman’s World’, packed with fascinating facts and memorable clips, confirms that description to the full.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Anchor Bay. Colour.
86 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 17 Feb 2012